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erichw1504's avatar

What things about your previous jobs have you disliked?

Asked by erichw1504 (26341 points ) October 27th, 2010

What are some things you did not like about any previous jobs you have held?

Could be your boss, manager, co-workers, subordinates, the company, customers, tasks you’ve had to do, climate, etc…

Why? What company or job was it for? Do you still work there? How has it impacted your career? What did you do about it?

What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had while on the job?

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36 Answers

perg's avatar

Bullying masquerading as “leadership.” Suck-ups, especially when they’re supervisors who mistreat their staff as a way to show off to higher-ups who aren’t smart enough to see they’re being gamed.

I can’t tell you the worst experience in detail because it would reveal where I used to work, but basically I was reamed out at length and high volume by an incompetent supervisor for not doing something she’d never told me to do, while doing tasks I’d never done before and been given no instruction in. This occurred in front of others, in a foreign country at the start of a long stay there, with no one around who was willing to risk her psychotic outbreaks to stand up for me. I still wish I’d punched her in the head.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I once had to work with a very unpleasant man. He had a horrible temper and when he wasn’t yelling at me he was lusting over me. I dreaded going into work every day.

jonsblond's avatar

I was a travel agent at a small travel agency. The owner had her mother working for her. Her mother was a catty bitch that talked about everyone behind their back. She would make fun of my clothes when I was in the same room! I was miserable there, even though I loved the work. I stayed for only 10 months before I couldn’t handle it anymore, then I quit.

downtide's avatar

Worst job I ever had was in a hospital kitchen. Not only was it just like a factory production line, the place was filthy. It’s no wonder people get worse in hospital. I handed my notice in after 3 days.

mrlaconic's avatar

I used to work at a help desk and when I started with the company my team and I had a lot of power. We were able and encouraged to fix everything remotely. Our calls were periodically monitored of Q/A which was fine

As time went on we became ticket monkeys. All of our calls were monitored, they recorded our actions on our computers, and we lost a lot of our privileges so we had to just basically create a ticket and send it on to someone else. I started to hate my job at that point because I am a highly skilled geek and didn’t going from having power to not.

crazyivan's avatar

I spent about a decade earning my living as a street performer. It was mad fun and the money was good if unpredictable. The only thing that really burned me was the sheer number of hecklers and jackasses that thought nothing about interupting my show. These are the sentient equivalents of internet trolls.

I once had a drunk come up and start yelling four feet away from me. Normally this wouldn’t have been so bad, but I was juggling flaming torches at the time and I was afraid his breath might ignite at any moment. I asked him politely to back up. He slurred something about me not owning the sidewalk (though I actually did have a city permit to use that space). I explained that what I was doing was dangerous to both me and him, and the more he pissed me off the more dangerous it was going to be for him.

Got a good laugh but he ruined the whole performance…

AmWiser's avatar

After retiring 3 years ago, I was offered a job preparing income taxes. The first year was great…made my own hours, nice and friendly co-workers, pleasant atmosphere. Last year was the pits…their main person left for another company and that left me to work many unwanted hours, the boss became overbearing, expecting to much for the pay IMO. I don’t know if I will go back this year and plus I haven’t received any calls asking me to come back. I just failed my certification test (I have 2 more attempts to pass), and I think its because sub-consciously I don’t want to go back.

Cruiser's avatar

Being self employed and a sole proprietor one man show was a lonely existence and very boring to be all alone, so I handed in my resignation and came here!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Several times it was the boss, other times it was really attitudinal co-workers.

My worst experience was working in a Christian bookstore. I felt incredibly sick one day then went to the bathroom and urinated blood. That told me I had a really severe UTI. I told my boss I needed to go to the doctor and he got pissed off. I explained what was going on and he told me if I left, he’d fire me. I told him my mother was already on her way to pick me up and if he fired me, I’d sue him. He was a real asshole. Worst boss I ever had. In a Christian bookstore… go figure.

diavolobella's avatar

I worked for several really large firms where the staff were treated like valueless drones and were subject to ludicrous rules governing every microscopic detail of behavior and appearance. I’ve worked for employers who were arrogant, rude and entitled. One of them was just like Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada” but over 10 years before that ever came out. As I was leaving for lunch one day, I asked if she would like me to get her something to eat because she had been stuck in a meeting. Huge mistake. From then on, she would buzz my extension and without so much as a “Hello” or “If you are going out for lunch would you might getting me…” She would start ordering food as if I was a drive-thru window. Never please or thank you. She would send me some place to special order something for her, never asking where I might be going. The people at the nearby restaurants dreaded seeing me coming because they knew whatever I was going to order for her would have to be custom made to her specifications. She sent me out in the pouring rain, in ice and snow, etc. She never once offered to buy my lunch and I had to do this for her on MY lunch hour. She was horrible, truly just like that character.

I’ve worked for a guy had a foul mouth and a foul temper, but for some reason never directed either at me. He was very nice to me. I had to quit after three years though because witnessing him verbally abusing everyone else (including his family members and clients) and occasionally breaking/throwing things was more than I could deal with. The worst job though, was when I quit working for him and went to work for a non-profit organization that was supposed to help poor and oppressed people. After working for abusive guy, I wanted to do some good in the world with people who I thought would be like-minded. It took no time at all to discover the place was full of horrid people who were dishonest corrupt thieves and backstabbing game players who didn’t care one bit about their clientele and in fact spent a great deal of time mocking them. It was so bad I asked abusive guy for my job back, but though he wanted to hire me back, he had decided to retire.

iamthemob's avatar

I worked as a junior attorney in a large corporate law firm. My main problem with it was how productive value was related solely to billable hours. It provides backwards-incentives for low efficiency, and ignores efficiencies that can be produced through non-billable work. I have no problem with salary being linked to productivity in such a manner…but job stability doesn’t really have the effect that I think it should.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I worked for a man drawing designs for stained glass patterns.He wanted a girlfriend.That wasn’t in the job description.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille That part was in the benefits section.

diavolobella's avatar

@iamthemob. I’ve run into that issue. Someone will drag out a simple task for far longer than is possibly necessary so that they can run up their billable hours. Usually it backfires because they go too far and then the firm ends up having to write off much of the time when the client (correctly) points out how ludicrous it is.

BoBo1946's avatar

I worked for a major insurance company for 25 years and the toughest part of my job was denying coverage! The clamis that were straight forward like fires, tornado damage, hurricane damage, etc were fun to work, but the claims that involved a coverage question were difficult as most people have a problem with the word, no!

The worst experience I had been adjuster was when an insured that had a questionable fire loss, and while trying to negotiate a settlement, he put his hand in his pocket and could see the barrel of a gun protruding from his pants! it was a gun girls!

Could write a book on my experience over the 25 years. You see some crazy stuff!

iamthemob's avatar

@diavolobella – ironically, though, that’s not backfiring. It allows the billing partner negotiating points when dealing with the bill. “I’ll write off all these junior associate hours, but you have to admit that my (more expensive) hours are reasonable.” The system feeds itself in that way.

diavolobella's avatar

@iamthemob It’s a senior partner doing it, not an associate. So, he ends up getting his pre-bills, realizing he’s gone overboard and writing off his own time.

iamthemob's avatar

@diavolobella – surely. But it doesn’t prevent him or her from using junior write-offs as ammo to negotiate his or her remaining hours. ;-)

It’s also a silly system as clients will often attempt to limit the amount of people on a bill, because more people means more hours to them – when many juniors could be put on and there might be more hours but the overall bill would be less because if there are limits on the attorneys it is more likely that more senior people will be put on it. (which again provides a disincentive to give juniors necessary training hours.)

this may be another thread, though. ;-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Having been with the same company for 24 years, it was interesting to observe it morph through mergers and splits. The lack of communication and collaboration steadily went downhill. Projects that used to proceed fairly quickly and smoothly took more time to accomplish. It was a company very reliant on the economy, and every time it took a dip, personnel cuts were made.

Fortunately, they hired good people. In most cases, we all had the same goals and figured out how to work together to accomplish them. As long as we knew who to bring in on the front end of a project and obtained their commitment, they eventually got to the intended end result.

lloydbird's avatar

Monotony. Tedium. Cronyism. Nepotism.

Ok on the first two counts now though.The second two are still a problem.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Micro managing idiot bosses or coworkers. Everybody works differently and I’ve worked with idiots that think their way is the only way to do something. They usually don’t like to be told to f**k off either.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – He would be the only one benefitting!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Gives new meaning to the term “under new management”.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I don’t really have many complaints about the actual work I do now. Occasionally, I get really awful customers who get mad at me for something silly but that doesn’t really bother me too much. I’ve never been threatened by a customer or yelled at at this job which is nice. I get hit on some by clumsy teenagers who think they’re real hot shit but for the most part, it’s not really a problem.

My last retail job was horrible though. My boss hated me I was younger, prettier and nicer. Some of my co-workers hated me I have no idea on this one. I was a 17-year-old kid working there for the summer. I received no employee handbook. I was not told a number of the rules and then would get yelled at when I broke them. None of the other employees were willing to help when I needed help. Often, I would call for customer assistance over the intercom, no one would respond, then I would do whatever the customer needed myself, then get in trouble for leaving the cash register. At the company I worked at, employees got full-time benefits at 30 hours a week. My manager would regularly schedule me for 29½ hours. You wanna know the absolute worst part though? I wasn’t allowed to leave the cash register for any reason. If I was given a task, I had to do it and then go stand behind the register. I was almost never given a task though so even if there wasn’t a customer in sight, I had to stand behind the register. I was only allowed to go to the bathroom on my breaks so, twice in an eight hour shift.

A close second was the Sunday newspapers. Has anyone here ever put a Sunday newspaper together? That’s right, they don’t come to vendors assembled. I had to put all the ads and parts of the paper together which I was never able to do before we opened. Then, I wasn’t able to wash my hands which would get covered in ink because I was stuck behind the register. So, whenever you walk into a drug store to buy the paper on Sunday, thank the employee with ink-stained hands.

crazyivan's avatar

It’s amazing, but it seems that this thread largely confirms my long held theory: It’s not about what you’re doing or how hard (or disgusting) the work is. It’s all about who you are working with and who you are working for.

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan – I don’t think that’s a theory. I’ve always found that it’s the people, as opposed to the job, that makes the work worthwhile.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Good for you. :) What a creep.

YARNLADY's avatar

I never liked having to be subject to some else’s schedule – Starting work at 9 am, eat at 12 noon, go home at 5 pm – getting up with an alarm so I could get to work on time – going to work even when I didn’t want to – wearing clothes based on social demands – spending a full hour from wake up to getting to work, totally non-productive time.

I love being a homemaker and choosing my own schedule.

Vunessuh's avatar

Working for somebody else.

deni's avatar

Mostly i’m just fuckin sick of working with food and cleaning up messes and waiting on people. I’ve worked in food only for about 3.5 years total and i cant fuckin take it anymore.
Also, I hate working at night.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Aw, what a shame. I’d love to work in food service. Maybe we should trade jobs :D
Personally I hate paperwork and bosses who say this must be done by 4pm today but don’t look at it until next week.

deni's avatar

@GeorgeGee it is the exact same thing every day. Nothing ever changes. Even the customers. I even have a new job…I’ve only been there two weeks, not even! I am already sick of it. And the people are great too. And its only 10 blocks away. But I look at the same salad 100 times a day. And then a different salad another 50 times. The only time it’s worth it is when someone orders beets on their salad, because then the salad is so pretty and pink. But it still sucks. And I can never paint my nails because my hands get so wet and gross at work that the polish just flakes off the next day. I know, it’s little, but annoying. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

The working part.

paydays were cool

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Co workers were more of a bane than any lack about the jobs. Working with people in teams who don’t contribute, do the minimum or else talk everyone up only to drop the ball in the 11th hour. Other than that, I’ve liked my jobs, especially the ones that used to make me more money.

mattbrowne's avatar

Real estate prices in Munich.

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